Live Local Kick-off


Just back from catching up with everyone at the livelocal challenge launch dinner tonight after a busy 3 days in Melbourne for the Future Summit.

Lovely to see @frombecca in real life! All of the food was served on communal dishes on long shared tables, the wine was from Mudgee, and ice cream was divine. That was the fun bit.

Now it is Wednesday and it is time to start my challenge. The rules are simple and follow below. The first thing that’s got me thinking is where the food I eat comes from. There’s not much food in my house so it’s off to the shops tomorrow to have a chat with the greengrocer.

Here’s some background on the challenge: The challenge is to live local for a week – seven days – and to document your efforts to do so. You can do this anytime.

What is living local?

To live local is to make the most of your community.

  • meeting your neighbours and the people who work in your community
  • eating delicious food grown as close to where you live as possible
  • minimising use of fossil fuels, especially for transport*

* This will be the hardest one for a lot of people. Walking, bicycles and public transit are good ways to reduce (and to keep you closer to your own neighbourhood!). But this challenge is about experimenting and being creative, not about absolutes. See rules #2 and #3 below.


  1. Send an email to info AT livelocal DOT org DOT au and tell us when you’re starting or post a comment here. (You don’t have to do this, but we’ll offer you love and support if you do.)
  2. You can’t be disqualified or fail. You are merely trying, and thinking about how hard and/or easy it is to live locally.
  3. If you HAVE to drive a car somewhere, we’re more interested in you discussing the factors that led to that. If you’ve gotta fly to Melbourne, what reasons made this necessary? And when you do manage to avoid driving or flying, what compromises did you make?
  4. Document! We want people to share in and get inspired by your experience and your victories and trials and tribulations. Blog, Twitter, call your friends, talk about it during meals.
  5. Or, why not add an experiment to tell the stories about some or all of your adventures?

Go on – join in!


Conservatives Fight Back – "Beware the Entertaining 'Food Police' "


The conservatives fight back against Supersize Me – there is a new web site that dissects & attempts to demolish Spurlock’s arguments against McDonald’s:

The “Food Police” are back, this time in a comedy entitled Super Size Me, produced by filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. Spurlock is a former TV show producer best known for his work creating the gross-out TV show “I Bet You Will” in which, among many other crazy stunts, he says he “bet a girl to let us shave her
head into a Mohawk… combined it with three sticks of butter and she ate her own hair in this giant butter hairball.”

Tech Central Station (TCS), a science, technology and public policy online journal, will serve as a clearing
house for materials related to the documentary Super Size Me. Our mission: to provide visitors with the facts and science-based information on obesity and nutrition to balance this film’s “gross-out” performance art. will have a special section on its website housing articles, analysis, studies, and other information relevant to Super Size Me. Visit to learn more.

According to Tech Central Station Host and nationally syndicated columnist, James K. Glassman, “Super Size Me is not a serious look at a real health problem. It is, instead, an outrageously dishonest and dangerous piece of self-promotion. Through his antics, Spurlock sends precisely the wrong message. He absolves us
of responsibility for our own fitness. We aren’t to blame for being fat; big corporations are!”

As for me, the only time I eat the traditional McDonald’s fare is when I am drunk and it is about 3 am. It really helps as I throw up almost immediately afterwards thus helping to avoid a bad hangover! On the other hand I am real fan of their new menu of salads & stuff – it’s worth checking out.

As to anyone who believes that you can eat any brand of junk food all the time and in large quantities & not become obese and/or unhealthy in some way – you need to work on both your mental faculties and logical reasoning capacity.


The coming integration of IT and biotechnology …


I just saw Susan Greenfield – a.k.a. Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield – on a television chat show. She is a pioneering scientist, entrepreneur, communicator of science, policy adviser, and an extremely interesting presenter of complex ideas. She seems to be intelligent, vivacious and wears makeup and nice clothes. All of this must really annoy many of her peers amongst the male scientists in the UK (especially the grumpy older ones).

Her most recent book is Tomorrow’s People (ISBN: 0713996315 ), and in it she warns that the coming integration of IT and biotechnology will have such a profound effect on the way we think and live that “we are standing on the brink of a mind makeover more cataclysmic that anything in our history.”

This is an area that will confront each of us in the near future. The technology to integrate bio-technology into human beings already exists and is near to commercialisation. We are already microchipping our pets, how long until someone says we should do it for children? It will seem like a good idea at the time. But it really is the thin end of the wedge. Prof. Greenfield is right, we do need to give serious consideration to how we want to use this technology. Otherwise it will change our lives profoundly in ways we may not like.